By Mary O’KEEFE
Candidates running for the two seats on the Glendale Unified School District governing board faced an audience that would be directly affected by any decision made by anyone elected to the board. Clark Magnet High School teacher Nick Doom took his kids out of the classroom and placed them into a real world scenario of politics. The students invited candidates to a Clark Magnet High School political forum.
The students prepared the questions and acted as monitor. The forum was held on Friday morning. Candidates Nayiri Nahabedian, Ingrid Grinnell and Ami Fox could not attend due to scheduling issues. The candidates that were there were quizzed on issues of reform to charging money for summer school.
No matter what the question was it always came back to the budget.
“Never has our school district face such financial uncertainty,” said incumbent Mary Boger. She described the financial outlook as “bad, unbelievably bad and dooms day.”
Candidate Vahik Satoorian said that reform should include technology advancement, adding that it is important to look to the future, to graduates of 2015.
Dan Cabrera suggested that reform begin with the school itself. That it is important to keep the good apples while weeding out the bad apples. Cabrera was a teacher for many years in the Glendale district.
“I hope we can reform how teachers are trained,” he added. “We need to get students involved instead of just listening to lectures.”
Todd Hunt’s career is software technology. He too believed that reform should include technology improvements. Stating that schools are training the workforce of the future. Hunt said students need up-to-date technology to be competitive when applying for colleges and for jobs in the future.
Jennifer Freemon said that cuts and reforms must be made.
“We need to make cuts as far away from the classroom as we can,” she said.
“I feel bad cutting them off,” said Clark student Andrea Ghazarian, part of the questioning panel.
It was her job to time the candidates’ responses. There were times when the candidates had to end in mid-answer but their points were generally made.
“I think it is going well,” said student Lynette Hacopian, also part of the panel.
“[This type of forum] is more personal, more engaged,” added fellow panel student Mary Abramyan.